Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

A Vatican Spring?

Expand Messages
  • Ernie Schreiber
    There was an interesting article in the New York Times of February 27, 2013 authored by Hans Kueng, professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the University
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 2, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      There was an interesting article in the New York Times of February 27, 2013 authored by Hans Kueng, professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the University of Tuebingen. Kueng had his ecclesiastical teaching license revoked by the Vatican in 2005 due to his criticizing of the dogma of papal infallibility but he still makes his views known and is currently engaged in writing a book entitled: "Can the Church Still be Saved?"; it makes comparisons with the so-called "Arab Spring" based on the recent happenings in Tunisia and Egypt and the turbulences and cracks opening at the Vatican under the Rule of Pope Benedict XVI.

      Many might agree with Kueng's comparison of the RC-church with old monarchical habits and the dictatorship of aristocratic masters who are "born to rule" over their enslaved subjects. Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think? An interesting read. Here is a verbatim copy:
      Published in The New York Times, Feb. 27, 2013


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      February 27, 2013

      A Vatican Spring?

      By HANS K�NG

      T�BINGEN, Germany

      THE Arab Spring has shaken a whole series of autocratic regimes. With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, might not something like that be possible in the Roman Catholic Church as well � a Vatican Spring?

      Of course, the system of the Catholic Church doesn�t resemble Tunisia or Egypt so much as an absolute monarchy like Saudi Arabia. In both places there are no genuine reforms, just minor concessions. In both, tradition is invoked to oppose reform. In Saudi Arabia tradition goes back only two centuries; in the case of the papacy, 20 centuries.

      Yet is that tradition true? In fact, the church got along for a millennium without a monarchist-absolutist papacy of the kind we�re familiar with today.

      It was not until the 11th century that a �revolution from above,� the �Gregorian Reform� started by Pope Gregory VII, left us with the three enduring features of the Roman system: a centralist-absolutist papacy, compulsory clericalism and the obligation of celibacy for priests and other secular clergy.

      The efforts of the reform councils in the 15th century, the reformers in the 16th century, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries and the liberalism of the 19th century met with only partial success. Even the Second Vatican Council, from 1962 to 1965, while addressing many concerns of the reformers and modern critics, was thwarted by the power of the Curia, the church�s governing body, and managed to implement only some of the demanded changes.

      To this day the Curia, which in its current form is likewise a product of the 11th century, is the chief obstacle to any thorough reform of the Catholic Church, to any honest ecumenical understanding with the other Christian churches and world religions, and to any critical, constructive attitude toward the modern world.

      Under the two most recent popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, there has been a fatal return to the church�s old monarchical habits.

      In 2005, in one of Benedict�s few bold actions, he held an amicable four-hour conversation with me at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo in Rome. I had been his colleague at the University of T�bingen and also his harshest critic. For 22 years, thanks to the revocation of my ecclesiastical teaching license for having criticized papal infallibility, we hadn�t had the slightest private contact.

      Before the meeting, we decided to set aside our differences and discuss topics on which we might find agreement: the positive relationship between Christian faith and science, the dialogue among religions and civilizations, and the ethical consensus across faiths and ideologies.

      For me, and indeed for the whole Catholic world, the meeting was a sign of hope. But sadly Benedict�s pontificate was marked by breakdowns and bad decisions. He irritated the Protestant churches, Jews, Muslims, the Indians of Latin America, women, reform-minded theologians and all pro-reform Catholics.

      The major scandals during his papacy are known: there was Benedict�s recognition of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre�s arch-conservative Society of St. Pius X, which is bitterly opposed to the Second Vatican Council, as well as of a Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williamson.

      There was the widespread sexual abuse of children and youths by clergymen, which the pope was largely responsible for covering up when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. And there was the �Vatileaks� affair, which revealed a horrendous amount of intrigue, power struggles, corruption and sexual lapses in the Curia, and which seems to be a main reason Benedict has decided to resign.

      This first papal resignation in nearly 600 years makes clear the fundamental crisis that has long been looming over a coldly ossified church. And now the whole world is asking: might the next pope, despite everything, inaugurate a new spring for the Catholic Church?

      There�s no way to ignore the church�s desperate needs. There is a catastrophic shortage of priests, in Europe and in Latin America and Africa. Huge numbers of people have left the church or gone into �internal emigration,� especially in the industrialized countries. There has been an unmistakable loss of respect for bishops and priests, alienation, particularly on the part of younger women, and a failure to integrate young people into the church.

      One shouldn�t be misled by the media hype of grandly staged papal mass events or by the wild applause of conservative Catholic youth groups. Behind the facade, the whole house is crumbling.

      In this dramatic situation the church needs a pope who�s not living intellectually in the Middle Ages, who doesn�t champion any kind of medieval theology, liturgy or church constitution. It needs a pope who is open to the concerns of the Reformation, to modernity. A pope who stands up for the freedom of the church in the world not just by giving sermons but by fighting with words and deeds for freedom and human rights within the church, for theologians, for women, for all Catholics who want to speak the truth openly. A pope who no longer forces the bishops to toe a reactionary party line, who puts into practice an appropriate democracy in the church, one shaped on the model of primitive Christianity. A pope who doesn�t let himself be influenced by a Vatican-based �shadow pope� like Benedict and his loyal followers.

      Where the new pope comes from should not play a crucial role. The College of Cardinals must simply elect the best man. Unfortunately, since the time of Pope John Paul II, a questionnaire has been used to make all bishops follow official Roman Catholic doctrine on controversial issues, a process sealed by a vow of unconditional obedience to the pope. That�s why there have so far been no public dissenters among the bishops.

      Yet the Catholic hierarchy has been warned of the gap between itself and lay people on important reform questions. A recent poll in Germany shows 85 percent of Catholics in favor of letting priests marry, 79 percent in favor of letting divorced persons remarry in church and 75 percent in favor of ordaining women. Similar figures would most likely turn up in many other countries.

      Might we get a cardinal or bishop who doesn�t simply want to continue in the same old rut? Someone who, first, knows how deep the church�s crisis goes and, second, knows paths that lead out of it?

      These questions must be openly discussed before and during the conclave, without the cardinals being muzzled, as they were at the last conclave, in 2005, to keep them in line.

      As the last active theologian to have participated in the Second Vatican Council (along with Benedict), I wonder whether there might not be, at the beginning of the conclave, as there was at the beginning of the council, a group of brave cardinals who could tackle the Roman Catholic hard-liners head-on and demand a candidate who is ready to venture in new directions. Might this be brought about by a new reforming council or, better yet, a representative assembly of bishops, priests and lay people?

      If the next conclave were to elect a pope who goes down the same old road, the church will never experience a new spring, but fall into a new ice age and run the danger of shrinking into an increasingly irrelevant sect.

      Hans K�ng is a professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the University of T�bingen and the author of the forthcoming book �Can the Church Still Be Saved?� This essay was translated by Peter Heinegg from the German.

      [end of article from Mew York Times]

      Regards,
      H. E. [Ernie] Schreiber
      EUNACOM Secular Journal: http://eunacom.net
      Discussion List Server at: <eunacom@yahoogroups.com>




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • sam
      On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500 Ernie Schreiber wrote: ... Twill be very interesting to see... outcome of St. Malachy s
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 3, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500
        Ernie Schreiber <eunacom@...> wrote:

        <snip>
        > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of
        > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion
        > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?


        'Twill be very interesting to see...
        outcome of St. Malachy's prophecy.

        http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/malachy.htm


        imo,
        sam*
        --

        Religions are Bronze Age phantasy,
        time to consign them to History.
      • david danel
        Ernie, I guess irrelevant sects don t tend to not only survive 2000 yrs, but also build societies, make scientific milestones, leave flourishing culture
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 3, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          Ernie,
          I guess irrelevant sects don't tend to not only survive 2000 yrs, but also build societies, make scientific milestones, leave flourishing culture behind, make people better... (of course, making many many failures on the way too)
          just my humble opinion
          david

          --- On Sun, 3/3/13, sam <townley7@...> wrote:

          From: sam <townley7@...>
          Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] A Vatican Spring?
          To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:00 PM
















           









          On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500

          Ernie Schreiber eunacom@...> wrote:





          > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of

          > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion

          > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?



          'Twill be very interesting to see...

          outcome of St. Malachy's prophecy.



          http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/malachy.htm



          imo,

          sam*

          --



          Religions are Bronze Age phantasy,

          time to consign them to History.



























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Charles Gee
          ... The Answer: Who cares? They will just have to think up another scam to keep themselves in the style to which they are accustomed. Charles
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 4, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            The Question:



            > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of
            > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion
            > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?

            The Answer:

            Who cares? They will just have to think up another scam to keep
            themselves in the style to which they are accustomed.

            Charles
          • dicoll3000
            David, I see the growth of the RC church more as a violent conquest. In the early days, Christianity was indeed just a sect, until the Roman Emperor Constantin
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 5, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              David,

              I see the growth of the RC church more as a violent conquest.

              In the early days, Christianity was indeed just a sect, until the Roman Emperor Constantin declared it as state religion. From that moment on, the growth of the RC church became exponential. It was however through force, intimidation and coercion that the 'Heathens' were brought into the religious fold.

              Goes to demonstrate that the difference between a sect and a religion is government support.

              Regards, Dan Roper
              --------------------------------------

              --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel <david_danel@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Ernie,
              > I guess irrelevant sects don't tend to not only survive 2000 yrs, but also build societies, make scientific milestones, leave flourishing culture behind, make people better... (of course, making many many failures on the way too)
              > just my humble opinion
              > david
              >
              > --- On Sun, 3/3/13, sam <townley7@...> wrote:
              >
              > From: sam <townley7@...>
              > Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] A Vatican Spring?
              > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:00 PM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >  
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500
              >
              > Ernie Schreiber eunacom@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of
              >
              > > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion
              >
              > > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?
              >
              >
              >
              > 'Twill be very interesting to see...
              >
              > outcome of St. Malachy's prophecy.
              >
              >
              >
              > http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/malachy.htm
              >
              >
              >
              > imo,
              >
              > sam*
              >
              > --
              >
              >
              >
              > Religions are Bronze Age phantasy,
              >
              > time to consign them to History.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • david danel
              Dan, thanks for your post. Yes, I know that well. Christianity was a sect, indeed. Perhaps, its founder, say Jesus, never meant it to be so overgrown, so
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 5, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                Dan,
                thanks for your post. Yes, I know that well. Christianity was a sect, indeed. Perhaps, its founder, say Jesus, never meant it to be so overgrown, so attached to secular power, perhaps it was supposed to be a kind of personal meditation path, a practice of humbliness and deeds of mercy etc. Ok. 
                BUT: the same what you state on the violent dimension of Christianity spread can be said about Islam, certain types of Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism (check up the history of Soviet Union, ex-communist countries in the Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Cuba, China - atheism linked to state system, so called communism)
                SO, if you went honest and studied the history careful, you could well see how Christianity was changing invividual lives, how it changed whole societies (stopping cannibalism, slavery, violence against women etc. etc. etc.) There are plenty of examples how individual people adopted Christianity or Christian world-view - be it scientists, artists, politicians, average citizen...
                and BY THE WAY, the history showed already that homo sapiens somehow needs religion (of any kind) anyway. Once people tried to cut off links to organized religion (French Revolution, communist societies, nazi communities) they easily, and with even more disastrous results, adopt other destructive types of cults and then even atheism becomes a monstrous cult, sect, brain-washing system deforming science, culture and history. Sad, sad, sad. 

                I don't want to convert anyone, I have many atheist friends, I see much of your point, but let's try not to be biased, both sides. By the way, try to read the book by Tomas Halik (Czech philosopher and sociologist) "The Patience with God" (Doubleday) and tell me what you think honestly.
                the spring is coming back to us here. how about Canada?
                greetings, david

                --- On Tue, 3/5/13, dicoll3000 <dicoll3000@...> wrote:

                From: dicoll3000 <dicoll3000@...>
                Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: A Vatican Spring?
                To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 2:57 PM
















                 









                David,



                I see the growth of the RC church more as a violent conquest.



                In the early days, Christianity was indeed just a sect, until the Roman Emperor Constantin declared it as state religion. From that moment on, the growth of the RC church became exponential. It was however through force, intimidation and coercion that the 'Heathens' were brought into the religious fold.



                Goes to demonstrate that the difference between a sect and a religion is government support.



                Regards, Dan Roper

                --------------------------------------



                --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel wrote:

                >

                >

                > Ernie,

                > I guess irrelevant sects don't tend to not only survive 2000 yrs, but also build societies, make scientific milestones, leave flourishing culture behind, make people better... (of course, making many many failures on the way too)

                > just my humble opinion

                > david

                >

                > --- On Sun, 3/3/13, sam wrote:

                >

                > From: sam

                > Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] A Vatican Spring?

                > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com

                > Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:00 PM

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >  

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500

                >

                > Ernie Schreiber eunacom@...> wrote:

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of

                >

                > > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion

                >

                > > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?

                >

                >

                >

                > 'Twill be very interesting to see...

                >

                > outcome of St. Malachy's prophecy.

                >

                >

                >

                > http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/malachy.htm

                >

                >

                >

                > imo,

                >

                > sam*

                >

                > --

                >

                >

                >

                > Religions are Bronze Age phantasy,

                >

                > time to consign them to History.

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                >



























                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • dicoll3000
                David, You keep making the same assumptions. �.Atheism (check up the history of Soviet Union, ex-communist countries in the Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Cuba,
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 5, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  David,

                  You keep making the same assumptions.

                  "….Atheism (check up the history of Soviet Union, ex-communist countries in the Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Cuba, China – atheism linked to state system, so called communism)"

                  You should know that the prohibition of religion is not Atheism.

                  Atheism is the absence of religion. You cannot enforce not believing in something because there is nothing to enforce.

                  Religion on the other hand demands a certain public behaviour, the following of certain rituals and the participation in certain gatherings.

                  The Atheist is an individual who, on a personal level, has recognized the dissonance in religious teachings and has come to the conclusion that the teachings promoted by religion are bogus and amount to no more than superstition..

                  Every Atheist has his own reasons as to why the doubts began but they ultimately arrive at the same conclusion. Atheists may be free from religion but that does not mean they are without a strong set of ethics. The difference is that Atheists ethics are verifiable by experience, independent from arbitrary assumptions of authority or creed.

                  Regards, Dan Roper
                  ------------------------------------


                  --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel <david_danel@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Dan,
                  > thanks for your post. Yes, I know that well. Christianity was a sect, indeed. Perhaps, its founder, say Jesus, never meant it to be so overgrown, so attached to secular power, perhaps it was supposed to be a kind of personal meditation path, a practice of humbliness and deeds of mercy etc. Ok. 
                  > BUT: the same what you state on the violent dimension of Christianity spread can be said about Islam, certain types of Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism (check up the history of Soviet Union, ex-communist countries in the Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Cuba, China - atheism linked to state system, so called communism)
                  > SO, if you went honest and studied the history careful, you could well see how Christianity was changing invividual lives, how it changed whole societies (stopping cannibalism, slavery, violence against women etc. etc. etc.) There are plenty of examples how individual people adopted Christianity or Christian world-view - be it scientists, artists, politicians, average citizen...
                  > and BY THE WAY, the history showed already that homo sapiens somehow needs religion (of any kind) anyway. Once people tried to cut off links to organized religion (French Revolution, communist societies, nazi communities) they easily, and with even more disastrous results, adopt other destructive types of cults and then even atheism becomes a monstrous cult, sect, brain-washing system deforming science, culture and history. Sad, sad, sad. 
                  >
                  > I don't want to convert anyone, I have many atheist friends, I see much of your point, but let's try not to be biased, both sides. By the way, try to read the book by Tomas Halik (Czech philosopher and sociologist) "The Patience with God" (Doubleday) and tell me what you think honestly.
                  > the spring is coming back to us here. how about Canada?
                  > greetings, david
                  >
                  > --- On Tue, 3/5/13, dicoll3000 <dicoll3000@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > From: dicoll3000 <dicoll3000@...>
                  > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: A Vatican Spring?
                  > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 2:57 PM
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >  
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > David,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I see the growth of the RC church more as a violent conquest.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > In the early days, Christianity was indeed just a sect, until the Roman Emperor Constantin declared it as state religion. From that moment on, the growth of the RC church became exponential. It was however through force, intimidation and coercion that the 'Heathens' were brought into the religious fold.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Goes to demonstrate that the difference between a sect and a religion is government support.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Regards, Dan Roper
                  >
                  > --------------------------------------
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Ernie,
                  >
                  > > I guess irrelevant sects don't tend to not only survive 2000 yrs, but also build societies, make scientific milestones, leave flourishing culture behind, make people better... (of course, making many many failures on the way too)
                  >
                  > > just my humble opinion
                  >
                  > > david
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > --- On Sun, 3/3/13, sam wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > From: sam
                  >
                  > > Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] A Vatican Spring?
                  >
                  > > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > > Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:00 PM
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >  
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Ernie Schreiber eunacom@> wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > 'Twill be very interesting to see...
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > outcome of St. Malachy's prophecy.
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/malachy.htm
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > imo,
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > sam*
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > --
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > Religions are Bronze Age phantasy,
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > time to consign them to History.
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • david danel
                  Dear Dan, I know it is hard for you (and others here on this forum) to believe, but Atheism in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe was a kind of
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 6, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Dan,
                    I know it is hard for you (and others here on this forum) to believe, but Atheism in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe was a kind of religion:
                    - Atheism was required as a certain type of public behaviour- the leaders of the system on many levels clearly required denouncing any personal attachments to personal belief or its organized forms (Christianity, Judaism) - you had to claim in front of committees, juries, employers that you are an Atheist, a Marxist-Atheist- active religious leaders were persecuted, jailed, executed- Atheism was taught in schools as the only compatible world-view with the scientific approach, people made exams from so called Marxism-Atheism and if you did not pass you were not able to advance- NON-belief and its marxist-atheist form was a kind of official "Credo", or as important as "Liberte-Egalite-Fraternite" statement
                    Dan, I am aware that you decided once for all times and you have your reasons why you are an Atheist. I deeply respect that, but I just try to make a point once in a while in this discussion that Atheism CAN be misused, and it was misused many times in history, just as religions were; that things are not as easy and black-and-white as you'd like to see them (religions as source of all evil, atheism as a comfortable private zone not harmful to anyone) and so on. Believe, I have experience the horrors of "applied Atheism" on my own skin, on my family and friends' health, relationships, careers...
                    There are plenty of books that prove that Atheism can as simply as anything else can become a kind of cult, religion (btw, New Atheism of Dawkins, Harries and Hitchens shows clear symptoms, signs of a sect), so it is not only my own assumption. I can make a research for you and bring a pile of names of sociologists, philisophers, psychologists who stand in the same line as me.

                    So, to your statements I always have a comment or question:
                    You should know that the prohibition of religion is not Atheism.- ok, but it was different between 1945 - 1989 here. There was no prohibition of religion, Atheism was just something required to enter jobs, universities. You did the expert tests and then you went through a Marxism-Atheism test followed by an interview. If you admitted you were a Christian you were most probably lost at the very moment, no matter what

                    Atheism is the absence of religion. You cannot enforce not believing in something because there is nothing to enforce.
                    - you think so. but the reality was very, very different. They were enforcing it to death. Literally.
                    Religion on the other hand demands a certain public behaviour, the following of certain rituals and the participation in certain gatherings.- what about the "gatherings of the Brights"? the Beyond Belief sessions etc.?

                    The Atheist is an individual who, on a personal level, has recognized the dissonance in religious teachings and has come to the conclusion that the teachings promoted by religion are bogus and amount to no more than superstition..
                    --- yes, there are many dissonances in religions, as there are in atheism
                    Every Atheist has his own reasons as to why the doubts began but they ultimately arrive at the same conclusion. Atheists may be free from religion but that does not mean they are without a strong set of ethics. The difference is that Atheists ethics are verifiable by experience, independent from arbitrary assumptions of authority or creed.- ok, I fully respect that. I don't doubt the so called Atheist ethics (my own are also not enforced by arbitrary assumptions /creed is something very different, Dan/ ), but please, be able to see the downfall and errors or horrors of "applied Atheism" (I guess you would not associate with it leaving as me in the communist block - perhaps you would convert to Christianity rather than living this dreadful and tragic parody on Atheism here)

                    All that I write is not meant to attack any of you, my Atheist "brothers and sisters". I like to read your post, to see what's on the debate panel in Canada etc. I believe some of the Atheist iniciatives are much needed for the health of the "believing world". And yes, in many cases you are RIGHT and even BRIGHTER than the Church guys. Just don't childishly think that your truth is the final Truth. It simply cannot be (so as the religious truth cannot be) ;)
                    Best regards,
                    david

                    --- On Wed, 3/6/13, dicoll3000 <dicoll3000@...> wrote:

                    From: dicoll3000 <dicoll3000@...>
                    Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: A Vatican Spring?
                    To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 3:29 AM
















                     









                    David,



                    You keep making the same assumptions.



                    "….Atheism (check up the history of Soviet Union, ex-communist countries in the Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Cuba, China – atheism linked to state system, so called communism)"



                    You should know that the prohibition of religion is not Atheism.



                    Atheism is the absence of religion. You cannot enforce not believing in something because there is nothing to enforce.



                    Religion on the other hand demands a certain public behaviour, the following of certain rituals and the participation in certain gatherings.



                    The Atheist is an individual who, on a personal level, has recognized the dissonance in religious teachings and has come to the conclusion that the teachings promoted by religion are bogus and amount to no more than superstition..



                    Every Atheist has his own reasons as to why the doubts began but they ultimately arrive at the same conclusion. Atheists may be free from religion but that does not mean they are without a strong set of ethics. The difference is that Atheists ethics are verifiable by experience, independent from arbitrary assumptions of authority or creed.



                    Regards, Dan Roper

                    ------------------------------------



                    --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel wrote:

                    >

                    >

                    > Dan,

                    > thanks for your post. Yes, I know that well. Christianity was a sect, indeed. Perhaps, its founder, say Jesus, never meant it to be so overgrown, so attached to secular power, perhaps it was supposed to be a kind of personal meditation path, a practice of humbliness and deeds of mercy etc. Ok. 

                    > BUT: the same what you state on the violent dimension of Christianity spread can be said about Islam, certain types of Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism (check up the history of Soviet Union, ex-communist countries in the Eastern Europe, Cambodia, Cuba, China - atheism linked to state system, so called communism)

                    > SO, if you went honest and studied the history careful, you could well see how Christianity was changing invividual lives, how it changed whole societies (stopping cannibalism, slavery, violence against women etc. etc. etc.) There are plenty of examples how individual people adopted Christianity or Christian world-view - be it scientists, artists, politicians, average citizen...

                    > and BY THE WAY, the history showed already that homo sapiens somehow needs religion (of any kind) anyway. Once people tried to cut off links to organized religion (French Revolution, communist societies, nazi communities) they easily, and with even more disastrous results, adopt other destructive types of cults and then even atheism becomes a monstrous cult, sect, brain-washing system deforming science, culture and history. Sad, sad, sad. 

                    >

                    > I don't want to convert anyone, I have many atheist friends, I see much of your point, but let's try not to be biased, both sides. By the way, try to read the book by Tomas Halik (Czech philosopher and sociologist) "The Patience with God" (Doubleday) and tell me what you think honestly.

                    > the spring is coming back to us here. how about Canada?

                    > greetings, david

                    >

                    > --- On Tue, 3/5/13, dicoll3000 wrote:

                    >

                    > From: dicoll3000

                    > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: A Vatican Spring?

                    > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com

                    > Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 2:57 PM

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >  

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > David,

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > I see the growth of the RC church more as a violent conquest.

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > In the early days, Christianity was indeed just a sect, until the Roman Emperor Constantin declared it as state religion. From that moment on, the growth of the RC church became exponential. It was however through force, intimidation and coercion that the 'Heathens' were brought into the religious fold.

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > Goes to demonstrate that the difference between a sect and a religion is government support.

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > Regards, Dan Roper

                    >

                    > --------------------------------------

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel wrote:

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > Ernie,

                    >

                    > > I guess irrelevant sects don't tend to not only survive 2000 yrs, but also build societies, make scientific milestones, leave flourishing culture behind, make people better... (of course, making many many failures on the way too)

                    >

                    > > just my humble opinion

                    >

                    > > david

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > --- On Sun, 3/3/13, sam wrote:

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > From: sam

                    >

                    > > Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] A Vatican Spring?

                    >

                    > > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com

                    >

                    > > Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 6:00 PM

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >  

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > On Sat, 2 Mar 2013 10:38:49 -0500

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > Ernie Schreiber eunacom@> wrote:

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > > Could the resignation of Pope Benedict be the critical point of

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > > either a reformation of the church or else a sinking into oblivion

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > > of just another irrelevant sect? What do you think?

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > 'Twill be very interesting to see...

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > outcome of St. Malachy's prophecy.

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/malachy.htm

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > imo,

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > sam*

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > --

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > Religions are Bronze Age phantasy,

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > time to consign them to History.

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                    >

                    > >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    >

                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                    >



























                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • jonovision_man
                    ... The opposite is in fact true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country Where is religion most important to people? In some of the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 6, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel <david_danel@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > and BY THE WAY, the history showed already that homo sapiens somehow
                      > needs religion (of any kind) anyway. Once people tried to cut off
                      > links to organized religion (French Revolution, communist societies,
                      > nazi communities) they easily, and with even more disastrous
                      > results, adopt other destructive types of cults and then even
                      > atheism becomes a monstrous cult, sect, brain-washing system
                      > deforming science, culture and history. Sad, sad, sad.

                      The opposite is in fact true:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country

                      Where is religion "most important" to people? In some of the most awful places to live on earth, war-torn countries where human rights are not even a blip on the radar.

                      Meanwhile, in Sweden where 83% say religion is not important to them, human rights are respected as well as anywhere on earth. Same with Denmark, Norway - there are plenty of examples of largely atheist societies that have not devolved into "other destructive types of cults".

                      jono
                    • david danel
                      Dear Jono, if you read a piece of history, you should read it in the context. Scandinavian countries owe their good status today, good economy, good law and
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 6, 2013
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dear Jono,
                        if you read a piece of history, you should read it in the context. Scandinavian countries owe their good status today, good economy, good law and social system, good state of human rights thanks to the several centuries long tradition of protestantism which taught people ethics values and the balance between values and freedom. The fact that some 83% of Swedish say "religion is not important to them" doesn't make them atheism. Speaking to people there you would find only minority of them considering themselves atheist.The communities there pay a deep respect to their religious communities. The best advice is to visit the countries.
                        Scandinavian countries are best examples of a healthy development of the Church, the State, the Educational System etc. etc. They never had communism nor raw and wild capitalism thanks to their deep Christian roots. 
                        Denouncing the role of Christianity in our culture and history will not lead anywhere. Understanding will. Mature atheists know. Radical "new atheists" are usually blind in this respect and so are weakening themselves and their position.
                        peace and respect, Jon,
                        david

                        --- On Wed, 3/6/13, jonovision_man <jon@...> wrote:

                        From: jonovision_man <jon@...>
                        Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: A Vatican Spring?
                        To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 1:49 PM
















                         













                        --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel wrote:

                        >

                        > and BY THE WAY, the history showed already that homo sapiens somehow

                        > needs religion (of any kind) anyway. Once people tried to cut off

                        > links to organized religion (French Revolution, communist societies,

                        > nazi communities) they easily, and with even more disastrous

                        > results, adopt other destructive types of cults and then even

                        > atheism becomes a monstrous cult, sect, brain-washing system

                        > deforming science, culture and history. Sad, sad, sad.



                        The opposite is in fact true:

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country



                        Where is religion "most important" to people? In some of the most awful places to live on earth, war-torn countries where human rights are not even a blip on the radar.



                        Meanwhile, in Sweden where 83% say religion is not important to them, human rights are respected as well as anywhere on earth. Same with Denmark, Norway - there are plenty of examples of largely atheist societies that have not devolved into "other destructive types of cults".



                        jono



























                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.